|Articles, Arts, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2016-10-19 14:05Z by Steven|
2016-10-17 (November 2016)
Photographed by Mario Testino, Vogue, November 2016
We enter the story in 1958, in rural Virginia. A woman and a man stand in an open field of grass; she is telling him she is pregnant. There is a hint of worry in her luminous dark eyes, but the man assures her that they will get married and build a home together. The opening scene of Loving, Jeff Nichols’s quietly devastating new film, feels less like a beginning and more like a happily-ever-after ending. But because this is 1950s Virginia, and the woman is black and the man is white, the story does not unfold in the way of fairy tales. For Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving—a real-life couple played in the film by Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton—the seemingly straightforward act of getting married becomes a dangerous and transgressive act.
With its lush cinematography, Loving is a visual paean to the 1950s, but it is also a fierce interrogation of the hypocrisies of that era. It traces the arc of the Lovings’ struggle to live as husband and wife at a time not so long ago when it was illegal in sixteen states to marry someone of a different race. As the Lovings are forced to leave their tight-knit, working-class community and live in Washington, D.C., around them swirls language that evokes the present debate on gay marriage. “It’s God’s law,” the sheriff tells the couple after their harrowing middle-of-the-night arrest. “A robin’s a robin, a sparrow is a sparrow.” As Edgerton says, “That’s the double beauty of the film. It’s a racial period piece, but it also echoes very loudly today.”…
Read the entire review here.